Oshawa requesting federal and provincial governments continue and “re-start” pandemic funding

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Published January 25, 2022 at 9:12 am

 

Oshawa Council is hopeful the hand-out the federal and provincial governments have provided for the small business community will be extended as the pandemic and lockdowns continue to wreak havoc with businesses’ bottom line.

Council also has their own hand out and will be asking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Doug Ford to extend the Restart Agreement Fund that saw the City receive more than $4 million from both levels of government in 2020 “to address COVID-related operating pressures.”

The City’s letter writing campaign starts with Carter requesting that Ottawa and Queen’s Park continue to offer and expand wage subsidies and programs to cover lost revenues and rent subsidies until a return to full operations can resume.

The Provincial government, as part of the plan, is introducing a $10,000 grant for eligible businesses that are subject to closures under the modified reopening plan and is also providing additional electricity-rate relief for businesses, as well as workers and families spending more time at home.

“More is needed,” the letter to Queen’s Park stated, “to bring timely and lasting support to local business in the community, including not only those that have had to close but also those that are subject to occupancy restrictions.”

A re-start of the Restart Agreement – an historic partnership that secured nearly $4 billion in emergency funds for municipalities across the country adversely affected by the pandemic – is next on the Mayor’s to-do list as Oshawa and other towns try to avoid operating deficits in their municipal budgets.

The last payment Oshawa received under the program was $1,697,000 from the provincial Ministry of Housing on December 16, 2020 and the City has already “fully expended this funding” through the 2020, 2021 and 2022 operating budgets to “mitigate increased COVID related cost pressures and lost revenue offsets.”

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